Space Quest: Underground adventures

(This is part of my journey playing through Space Quest. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)

I’ll start today’s session with a little aside: I am really glad that I went back to one of the classic Sierra games after Gabriel Knight 2, because there is something quite charming about them as well as a slick-as-snot interface.  Everything is easy to do: the parser is robust, loading and saving works well, and the simple, clean graphics makes it not only fun to look at but easy to spot most of the important objects.  It’s even easy to screenshot and leave without worrying about dying (most of the time) — a true pleasure to chronicle.

But anyway, we were descending in an elevator to places unknown under Kerona’s surface, weren’t we?

ca1Roger arrives in an underground cavern.  Does he still need to be wearing that space suit, by the way?  Looks spiffy, so I’m not complaining.

ca2“You’ve been snatched from existence by a tentacled beast lurking beneath the grate.  You feel the painful sting of digestive fluids.”

Really, if there isn’t a hilarious death per screen I’m kind of let down.  This one has a funny animation that shows Roger being pulled into the grate, making his head swell to comic-sized proportions before disappearing.

ca3Reload.  Sneak past the tentacles on the far side.  No Roger brunch for you today, slimey!  Put a rock in the gyser to make the door open… and go into another room with a purple pool.

Hmm… wonder if I

ca4OK, I knew it was going to kill me.  Anything that looks remotely nice will kill me in this game.  But knowing that I’ll be rewarded with funny death animations and wry text descriptions like this is all the incentive I need to barrel into my demise whenever I see it coming.

ca5I’m starting to think that this remote underground cave may have a touch more security than it truly needs.  Who comes down here on a regular basis anyway?

I have to use a piece of reflective glass from my escape pod to get past the beam.  I can only imagine how frustrating this part would be if you didn’t notice the glass when you landed (it only really shows up in a description if you look around).  It’s not like Roger can just jump three feet over it, now!

ca6This cannot be good.

ca7Giant holographic alien head dude makes me laugh.  He also gives me a task: To go back to the surface and kill an Orat.  What, just one of them?  In an MMO I’d have to do at least, I dunno, 10.  Piece of cake, I’ll just bludgeon it to death with my data cartridge.

ca8Getting to the Orat is far from easy, however.  That *$@# spider droid dogs Roger’s steps, blowing him up time and again.  It’s unfair because the droid can move in diagonals whereas Roger cannot, so any foot race is bound to end with a spider droid win.

ca9Here we see a native Orat making Roger into a ball and dribbling him.  Splendid.

ca10Thus it’s very theraputic when you lead the spider droid into the Orat’s waiting arms and the two blow up.

The walk back to the holographic alien takes just shy of forever, so that seems as good of a time as any to muse on the fact that this game does love its unwinnable scenarios.  If you don’t grab the translator from the Arcada before you leave or if you cross the desert bridge too many times and make it collapse, you won’t be able to win the game, period.  Better hope you have an earlier save file!

ca11“Walk toward the light, Roger… toward the light… ”  Yeah, I’m not falling for that old trick, thanks.

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